When asking where are you from, why is it better to use Woher rather than Woraus? The answer will very often include the verb "aus" in it, as in "Peter kommt aus Auckland".
If you want an explanation, you have to take a look at linguistic history. Often it is helpful to search for previous meanings, e.g. what the words meant 100 or 200 years ago.
You are, rightly, confused by the word
aus included in the answer. But I am not so sure if these three words here used to have the same meaning. Perhaps that's because those persons live in that region (
Peter lebt in Auckland). And things that are
in something need to get out of it - hence the word
BTW: Woraus has some more meanings:
Woraus asks for the ingredients, as in "What is it made of"? (
Woraus ist es gemacht?). You can also use it to ask for logical steps, as in "How do you see that"? (
Woraus folgt das?)
A good question. As a German I'm astonished. We ask "Woher kommst?/ Wo kommst du her?", but we answer with "aus": Aus Italien/Aus Mailand". We don't use "von" which would be the logical thing.
I can't explain it. One has to regard it as an idiomatic thing. Maybe this use of "aus" is very old and and goes back to Latin formulas with ex (out). To verify such an assumption a lot of research work would be necessary.
The word "her" actually means "here" as in "toward here". It's the brother of "hier". "Hier" only talks about a fixed location while "her" talks about a destination. Every day English does not make that distinction. So:
Woher kommst du?
Where are you coming here?
This makes no sense in English. You'd give an indication of origin ("from") and skip the indication of destination ("here").
Where are you from.
The "from" is simply missing in the German question. And that is why we don't see "woraus" or "wovon" here, because those would indicate origin. "her does not replace them. They are just missing and "her" is something else entirely. It just seems to mean "from" in that particular question but 80% of all "her"-uses it does show that it means "toward here"
Gib das her!
Give it to me!
This is true in context of travel. Any other "origin", like a material or an idea, will be expresses using the respective preposition (woraus, wovon)
By the way... there is a very similar thing going on when asking about destination. Only that English does the skipping this time.
Where are you going?
This is lacking an indication of destination. In German this indication cannot be skipped.
Wo gehst du? ... is not what you want to ask
Wo gehst du hin? ... is correct.
The equivalent to "hin" in this case would be "to" in English.
For a more detailed look on "her" check out this article on my blog.